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Review into condition of iconic Porthleven Institute
6:00am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
A review is to be carried out on the condition of Porthleven’s Bickford-Smith Institute and its maintenance.
As part of the survey the town council, which is the landlord, will also look at the tenancy of the building.
It was prompted by two requests from people in the port wanting to use the building’s unused room.
Currently the town council offices fill the Institute Cottage, with Porthleven Snooker Club occupying the large room downstairs.
At last week’s council meeting, clerk Corrie Thompson read a letter from Porthleven’s Poppy Appeal collector Rachel Baker and a second on behalf of the son of Mr Ingram, who it was claimed used to use the room to make and store his models – although it was thought to be before the time of the present day councillors, as none could remember this.
Mr Ingram junior wanted to use the room to paint and sell artwork, while Mrs Baker asked for support in storing the Poppy Appeal boxes and other paraphernalia.
She said: “I’ve kept them myself for many years but I live in a one bedroom flat. I am struggling for space – these boxes are big and I have nine of them.”
Councillor Andy Wallis said sub-letting the spare room would “open up all kind of cans of worms” and would not be supportive of anyone coming in without the opportunity being opened up to fair competition.
Members were also told of the current poor state of the room, which was described as “very damp,” with parts of the ceiling falling down.
It was agreed that the council support Mrs Baker in her request for help with the Poppy Appeal storage, although not necessarily in the spare room.
A working party is also being set up, involving all members of the council, which would investigate the current state of the institute and report back to a future meeting.
Councillor Dick Powell summed up the feeling of members when he said: “It’s such an important building for Porthleven, we can’t have it deteriorating.”
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